It isn't worthy of a press release, especially given their standing in the National League West, but the Diamondbacks rotation managed to do something before another other five-man unit in the league.
They became the first club to have three starters pitcher 200 innings or more, as Miguel Batista (202 1/3) on Saturday joined staff ace Brandon Webb (223) and Livan Hernandez (209) in the workhorse department. Hernandez threw 146 2/3 innings for Washington before being acquired in an Aug. 7 trade.
"I'm very proud of that," said Batista, who returning to a starting role after being Toronto's closer a year ago. "Two-hundred innings is pretty nice and to have three of us there, maybe faster than anybody, it's great."
Batista pointed to a baseball sitting in the top shelf of his locker with the number "600" written across it.
"I had that signed by the other two guys," he said, referring to Webb and Hernandez. "I'll be keeping that one around."
It's the first time Batista, 35, has reached the 200-inning mark in his 12-year major league career.
"That's the best thing we can have," he said. "A good starter usually gives you seven-plus and 35 starts. That gives your team a chance to win, and we should be happy about that."
Batista is set to become a free agent, but the Diamondbacks have entered preliminary discussions with his agent about possibly re-signing with Arizona for next season and maybe beyond. If he does, there's no reason to think the Diamondbacks won't have the same three pitchers logging 200-plus innings against next season.
Webb and Hernandez have proven to be durable and Batista is in excellent physical condition and has one of the most resilient arms in the game.
"The thing that's real impressive about these guys," pitching coach Bryan Price said, "is that we did not expand our pitch limits to free the opportunity to take on that kind of workload. They didn't have to throw 130 or 150 pitches. ... No one really had to exceed 115 pitches to get their full potential."
REPLAY: Livan Hernandez pitched a game worthy of a win, but reliever Luis Vizcaino ran into trouble in the bottom of the ninth Sunday and allowed a walk-off grand slam to Nomar Garciaparra as the Dodgers won a thriller, 5-1, in front of 49,822 at Dodger Stadium.
Hernandez allowed one run on five hits through seven innings for the Diamondbacks, who were officially eliminated from postseason contention with the loss.
Vizcaino threw a lot of pitches, having entered in the eighth and then allowing a single to Marlon Anderson in the ninth, intentionally walking Rafael Furcal, issuing another walk to Kenny Lofton, and then leaving a slider a tad up in the zone on a 2-1 count to Garciaparra.
"I don't want to miss a pitch on somebody like that," Vizcaino said. "But I did. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't."
--LF Luis Gonzalez, who went 0-for-6 during Arizona's 9-3 win Saturday in Los Angeles, did not play Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Manager Bob Melvin said he wants to keep Gonzalez fresh for the final four home games at Chase Field, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, which will mark the end of Gonzalez's eight-year run with the Diamondbacks. The outfielder was informed by management on Sept. 15 that the team will not bring him back next season.
--3B Chad Tracy didn't play Sunday against the Dodgers because of tendinitis in his left knee, which he said has been bothering him all season. He is listed as day-to-day, however, according to manager Bob Melvin.
--2B Orlando Hudson left the team in Los Angeles on Sunday to attend to personal family issues. He is expected to rejoin the club at some point during their three-game series in San Francisco, which begins Monday.
--Hitting coach Mike Aldrete plans to step down after this season and leave major league baseball to spend more time with his family. He intends to get into the real estate business.
--CF Eric Byrnes on almost being hit by a baseball Saturday night that was thrown from someone in the stands at Dodger Stadium toward the end of Arizona's 9-3 victory: "Just one of the rowdy fans out there. ... Is that a first? Are you kidding? I played (winter ball) in the Dominican."
Asked what they threw at him there, Byrnes said, "You mean, what didn't they throw? ... Baseballs, bottles, batteries, coins, you name it. I loved it there, though."
Manager Bob Melvin was asked how his happy-go-lucky outfielder would have responded had the baseball struck him.
"He'd probably just run to first base, knowing him," Melvin said.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1-62 -- Diamondbacks' record when trailing after eight innings, through Sept. 24.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He'll hit third and do what he normally does, but I've got a few things up my sleeve for that last day." -- Manager Bob Melvin, on Luis Gonzalez's last game with the Diamondbacks, Oct. 1 at home against the Padres. Arizona recently informed the veteran left fielder he will not be welcomed back next season.
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